Energy Code - Overview

What Is It?

Our Seattle Energy Code regulates the energy-use features of new and remodeled buildings, including:

  • Building Envelope: requirements for roofs, walls, window,s etc. to control heat loss and air leakage 
  • Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC): efficiency for heating and cooling equipment
  • Water Heating: equipment efficiency and controls
  • Lighting: number and type of lighting fixtures and controls
  • Metering, plug load controls, transformers, motors, and renewable energy

Read the Code

Below is a read-only version of the 2018 Seattle Energy Code. You can buy a full version from iccsafe.org. Print copies are available for sale through the Seattle Services Portal.

The 2018 Seattle Energy Code contains substantial copyrighted material from the 2018 International Energy Conservation Code which is proprietary to and copyrighted by International Code Council, Inc. The licensed material is copyrighted by the International Code Council, Inc., has been obtained and reproduced with permission. The acronym “ICC” and the ICC logo are trademarks and service marks of ICC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Seattle Energy Code - Commercial


Seattle Energy Code - Residential

Washington State Appendices

Below is a read-only version of the 2015 Seattle Energy Code. You can buy a full version from iccsafe.org.

The 2015 Seattle Energy Code contains substantial copyrighted material from the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code which is proprietary to and copyrighted by International Code Council, Inc. The licensed material is copyrighted by the International Code Council, Inc., has been obtained and reproduced with permission. The acronym “ICC” and the ICC logo are trademarks and service marks of ICC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Seattle Energy Code - Commercial


Seattle Energy Code - Residential


Washington State Appendices

Residential or Commercial Energy Code?

The Seattle Energy Code chapters that apply to your project depend on whether your project is a "residential building" or a "commercial building" as defined in the energy code. See below for a breakout of the chapters by each version of the code.

  • Use the “residential buildings” provisions for single-family homes, duplexes, and townhouses
  • Use the “residential buildings” provisions for 1-, 2-, and 3-story multifamily buildings
  • Use the “commercial buildings” provisions for 4-story and higher multifamily buildings
  • Use the “commercial buildings” provisions for non-residential buildings

Addition, Alteration, & Repair Projects

2015 and 2018 Code

  • Use Chapter 5 in the “residential building” portion of the code for single-family homes, duplexes, and townhouses, and for 1-, 2- and 3-story multifamily buildings
  • Use Chapter 5 in the “commercial building” portion of the code for non-residential and for 4-story and higher multifamily buildings

Proposed Changes

In March, the Seattle City Council hosted a public meeting about the proposed 2018 Seattle Energy Code amendment requiring heat pump water heating (HPWH) in commercial buildings

Public Comments

Background Documents